I Hate Funerals, But I Go

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a9f31b07I hate funerals.  Granted, I think I have been to three in my life, and two of those were for Nate’s family.  So I am not very experienced in the ways of the funeral.  But I hate them.  I hate thinking of death.  I am terrified to think of what’s next.

Heaven?  Hell?  Reincarnation?  Nothing??

Nothing is the scariest of all.  Scarier than hell, to me, is the thought that there is nothing past this life.  If this is it, then what is the point?  What happens to the life force energy that flows within each of us?  Does it just *poof!* disappear into the atmosphere?  I’d like to think not.

I don’t know that I believe in heaven, or that I’ll be reunited with my great-grandmother or Nate’s aunts and uncles.  I don’t know that I’ll see my childhood dog running toward me with his big ears flopping in the sun.  These things sound sort of nice, but it still doesn’t tell me what happens to that energy.

I don’t know that I believe in reincarnation, that this life is just one in a series of lives.  Sometimes, I think reincarnation sounds nice.  If I’m good, I’ll be moved up in the chain; if I’m bad I’ll move down.  My mom always told me that I must have been a cat in my previous life, because I purred as a baby (and I do love to nap).  And yet.  And yet.

I am not sure what I believe.  Maybe this is because belief is not knowledge.  It can’t be proven through complicated math problems.  Belief requires faith.  Faith in something bigger.  While I was raised (nominally) Catholic, I have never really been faithful.  I’ve been baptized, received Holy Communion, been confirmed.  I was married in the church, and my daughter has been baptized.  But I’m really just going through the motions of religion.  That is, when I actually go to church.

Nate’s great-uncle died last night.  We will be driving four hours in each direction for his funeral.  I pray there isn’t a viewing.  I have only seen one dead person, and it was not something I would like to do again.  I’m sad for Nate’s family that they have lost another person dear to them.  But Frankie was very old, and was a victim of WWII.  He came home from Europe, but he never really came home.  I hope that whatever happens next, Frankie is there.  I hope he is finally at peace, in a way he never could be on earth.  If he’s a bird, I hope he has spread his wings and is soaring above us.  If he is an angel, I hope he is reunited with his beloved brothers, the five of them together again.

But I hate funerals.